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Setting up your own business as a nutritionist

How to set up your own business as a nutritionist

You want to become a nutrition consultant, working in your own practice? What do you have to consider when you plan to become self-employed in this field? What opportunities does this diversified and promising vocational field offer to you? And what are the prerequisites for working as a nutritionist? This article will discuss these and other interesting aspects. In addition, we will provide you with a checklist that will help you on your first steps toward your new career as a nutrition consultant.

Running your own practice in a promising professional field

You’ve always been interested in healthy nutrition, and you know to what extent your diet influences your health, your vitality, and your performance? You want to have face-to-face contact with your clients? You want to help and support others in reaching their diet-related goals as well as enabling them to gain self-confidence and energy? You have good communication skills and are good at relating to others? And it is important to you to work self-employed or as a freelancer, thereby finding fulfillment and your actual calling?

If you answered most of these questions with an ardent “yes”, then you are already on your way to a new occupation, as you definitely possess the most important qualities for a self-employed career as a holistic nutrition consultant.

A natural and conscious diet – a major trend in the world today

For quite some time now, there is a well-grounded awareness of the advantages that a natural and healthy diet exhibits. Yet, at the same time obesity is on the rise. Heavy overweight isn’t just a burden for the individual’s well-being and their health-related quality of life. Excess pounds may – in the long run – actually promote the onset of epidemic conditions such as hypertension, cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes, and gout.

As a self-employed diet coach or nutritionist your services may not only proof highly beneficial for the individual but even for society as a whole. Never forget: Small steps, too, will eventually lead to success.

In order to improve the so-called work-life balance of their staff, more and more companies offer their employees professional in-house health-care as well as relaxation and exercise courses which will pay-off in the long run, since these measures generally result in more satisfied and more energetic employees who will, in turn, work more effective.

Nutritionists educate their clients

An increasing number of consumers are choosing organic food products over conventionally produced food; on top of that, more and more people challenge the overall quality of industrially processed foods by questioning which unwanted substances are included in the products we buy. Also, the origin of our food as well as specific transport routes, production processes, the ethical aspects of animal husbandry, and the ecological effects of the agroindustry’s activities are increasingly becoming closely scrutinized.

Again and again, food scandals upset the consumers all around the world. Meanwhile, culinary topics (and cooking shows, obviously) arouse an ever-growing interest in newspapers and TV. At the same time, though, there is an excess of information that often results in confusingly contradicting opinions. Unfortunately, not everyone who wants to eat healthy has the knowledge and / or the time and opportunities to deal with it thoroughly.

As a nonprofessional, one has to face a plethora of diverging schools of thought and doctrines on as many differing dietary patterns – which is where holistic nutritionists may come into play.

Opportunities and challenges of setting up your own private practice

The demand for skilled nutritionists is constantly rising. At the same time, the prospective clients cannot be too sure whether they might actually trust a given nutritionist – as many countries (e.g. Germany, Great Britain) neither have legal regulations on using this occupational title, nor present a clear-cut definition or job description for this occupation.

Keeping this in mind, a qualified training and a certified graduation from a renowned institute as well as a holistic, integrative approach are important aspects that will help to distinguish yourself from self-proclaimed nutrition experts.

The majority of our graduates tells us in their feedbacks that a strong feeling of meaningfulness and value had already been forming during their training with regard to their future activities. This usually results in a positive attitude towards your job which will eventually transfer to your potential clients as well. Especially in the beginning of your new career both a passionate approach to your services and perseverance will help you to succeed.

Qualifications for self-employed nutritionists

Precisely because the occupation “nutritionist” is not regulated in many countries, it is essential to take a high-quality training, if you later want to be able to convince your future clients of your professional qualification.

If you want to get started as a self-employed nutritionist on this competitive market, the training at the InN equips you with a lot of advantageous skills:

  • A well-grounded, multi-layered, and holistic knowledge will set you apart from your competitors.
  • You will possess the ability to put your theoretical expertise into practice (e.g., by professionally creating diet plans; by competent and holistic consultation)
  • You will have learnt helpful communication skills and consultation methods that will support you in motivating your clients and being on hand with help and advice for them.
  • You will learn to relate to different character types, thereby gaining the skills to individually adapt your recommendations to diverging situations.
  • The certificate you will be awarded with by the InN confirms that you possess all these skills and abilities – giving you an edge over your competitors.

What do I have to consider when setting up my own practice as a nutritionist?

Freelance food coaches and nutritionists can make vocational use of their knowledge in many different ways. For instance, you can start part-time and gradually build up your own company.

Sure, establishing a successful career as a self-employed nutritionist is no cake-walk. There are a lot of challenges that have to be dealt with when starting your new business; this, however, makes the whole thing rather interesting and rich in variety. When establishing your own practice, the following challenges might occur:

  • This is a competitive market. But you will find your niche with a strong positioning in your local catchment area.
  • The first step is always the hardest. Thus, in the beginning it might be quite difficult to get along with the self-employment. If that is the case, seek help from a business coach.
  • Each client is a new challenge as everyone is a unique individual. It is this experience you gain in practice that makes this job so rewarding and interesting.

Consider these challenges as a chance and don’t be afraid. Otherwise, you will only stand in your own way.

Formal requirements for setting up your own business

As it is the case with every self-employed occupation, nutritionists have to pay attention to a couple of legal regulations, too. Before we are going into detail, keep this in mind: Be undeterred by bureaucracy! Rather, look forward to the tasks to come!

Depending on your home country, you will usually have to undergo business registration with the responsible public authorities. Make sure that you meet all deadlines and hand in all relevant documents. Another issue you will have to take care of are the fiscal regulations your future company will have to adhere to. If you are not familiar with questions that deal with fiscal regulations at all, it would be a wise choice to talk to a tax accountant. This will give you spare time during which you can focus on your actual job.

Self-employed nutritionists – Accounting is not rocket science!

Even if you have no experience whatsoever in accounting, the necessary bookkeeping for your private nutritionist practice is not rocket science. Modern software can significantly support you in this area. If you thoroughly document and check on your income and expenses, you can easily keep track of everything from day one.

When becoming the founder of a company, however, you should definitely learn about the essential basics of accounting, tax systems, different types of business entities, and insurances. Depending on your country, there might be public authorities (e.g. the IHK in Germany) that offer specific courses for company founders and newly self-employed people; hence, inform yourself on events concerning this matter.

If you are planning on gradually expanding your business activities, additional seminars and workshops with regard to business management, marketing, networking, email marketing etc. might be more than useful.

Checklist – Setting up your own private practice as a nutritionist

  • Enroll in a training program and start learning the expert knowledge you’ll need.
  • Exchange experiences with your fellow students and with successful graduates, who already work in the field (i.e. for recommendations and networking)
  • Take specific seminars that will teach you useful knowledge on communication skills and on the act of consulting your future clients
  • Visit a seminar that deals with all the things that are important for self-employed entrepreneurs and inform yourself on these topics:
    • Taxes (if needed, hire a tax accountant)
    • Financial back-up (health insurance and long-term care insurance)
    • Pension plans
    • Professional liability insurance (aka errors & omissions)
    • Insurances for the office’s furniture and equipment (Risk insurances: Fire, burglary, flooding, etc.)
  • Planning your business activities / Devising a business plan / Clarifying the following issues:
    • What am I good at? What do I like? What kind of service do I want to offer (consultations, talks, …)
    • What do I NOT want to do? Distinction is important, as you can’t do EVERYTHING. Focus on your expertise! Prioritize!
    • Who are my potential clients? What are their needs? How can I approach them (leaflets, Internet, social media …)? How can I build customer loyalty / customer retention (i.e. through long-term offers that build on each other)?
    • Are there helpful key partners I can cooperate with? (E.g., health centers, gyms, health food stores, schools …)
    • How much seed money (i.e. starting capital) do I need (rooms for the practice / office, inventory and equipment, insurances, website, business cards, leaflets …)? How can I finance my business? Would it be better to expand activities gradually? Where can I save money (joint use of business rooms, home visits, …)?
    • What fixed costs will I have to face (rent etc.)? What do I need to earn to be successful in the long run? What can I reasonably charge for my services? Reasonable pricing is key!
    • What is the added value my clients can make use of when seeking my advice?
  • Set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound objectives (S.M.A.R.T) for the next year. What do I want to achieve, and until when do I want to reach these targets?
  • File the appropriate paperwork with the local authorities
  • Acquire customers; carry out consultations; give presentations; promote customer loyalty
  • Reflect and verify your targets.
  • Constant development! Keep it rolling!
  • Become happy in doing what you love! 🙂

Take matters into your own hands and become a self-employed nutritionist!

By graduating from the InN and following all the steps this article deals with, you can put your future career on a solid basis that will allow for a prosperous and satisfying job you can work in for the rest of your life.

Are you interested in our training program?

If you liked this article and if you are now interested in starting your own, self-determined, and independent career as a nutritionist, why don’t you just order our free information brochure?